6/27/11

Those endless hallways in NYC pre-war buildings


I spend about 90% of my day in this hallway. All the rooms connect from it on the right. I'm sure there is an official name for this horrible floor layout, but I like to call it the Let's Make a Deal floor plan. When people come over and ask where the bathroom is, I tell them, "Pick a door!" If I painted numbers on all the doors, my bathroom would be door number 2. Don't pick door number 3.  It usually has three goats inside.

When we first moved in, the hallway was my least favorite thing about the apartment. It was endless, boring, and dark. So we made it a mission to decorate it like any other room in the house.

Here's the five things we did to make the hallway tolerable: 
1. A carpet runner. We got ours from Flor. I liked that we could customize the length and reshape the carpet tiles the next time we move.
2. Lighting. When we moved in, there was a single ugly light fixture in the middle of the hallway. We replaced it with three of these from CB2 and had the landlord hardwired them. So much brighter!
2. A place to dump my keys and mail. Rob found a small bookshelf off craigslist. It's perfect. See here and scroll down for a pic.
3. Art. Check out this post for more details on how I blew up the pictures.
5. Color. Rob painted the door blue yesterday. I threw out the exact paint color. Sorry. I'll look for it the next time I go to the hardware store.

It took nine months, but I think I'm finally happy with the hallway. Pictured above is Ella crying about Oscar spilling glue all over her artwork. And the other picture is of Owen sneaking into the kitchen for ice cream late at night. Had these events happened in front of the boring white door, the kids would have gotten yelled at for sure. But the new blue door? I'm suddenly the most understanding perfect mom.  It's been so life changing, I'm planning on painting everything in my life bright blue. Starting with Owen.


19 comments:

  1. Love all these ideas! I too have a couple long hallways which are still bare after 4yrs! Thanks for the ideas!

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  2. Wow, way to turn that hall into something worth "hall-ering" about. Yikes, I just typed that! No really, it looks great. Love the lights especially.

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  3. love the blue door! it's amazing what a little pop of color. but, as usual, my favorite thing about these photos are your kids :)

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  4. oh and railroad style, that's what it's officially called i think

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  5. hello there, fellow new yorker! i love what you've done with the place. i only wish my apartment was big enough to have a hallway! :)

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  6. libby: ha, i read your comment twice and laughed both times
    liz: ah, yes railroad. call me foo
    rebecca: thanks!

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  7. you've always been so artistic and talented! The hallway looks awesome

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  8. It really looks awesome, you guys did a great job. I especially love the blue door. I bought a chandelier last year that's sitting in a box... do you think Luca will hardwire it for me? I never thought to ask him.

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  9. Great door! And I love the lighting. I have a similar long hallway in my apt...I love it. And my little guy uses it to ride his bike and race his cars.

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  10. Love what you've done... I'm taking notes for my endless hallway.

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  11. Railroad is actually an apartment WITHOUT a hallway. Each room leads directly into the next, thereby requiring you, in some apartments, to go through a bedroom to get to the kitchen.

    The converse is my apartment, which has NO hallways. It means all the space is usable, which is nice, but it also means I feel like I'm living in a suite in a dorm.

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  12. Greetings from your neighbor, Samantha's mom, a member of the what I like to call
    "The Kids in the Hall." I love that the kids on our floor get to play in the building's hallway every now and then, tho our neighbors w/o children are probably not so thrilled. I'm going to Flor to get a runner for my kitchen, which has hideous faux wood tiling from several centuries ago.

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  13. that oversized photobooth strip is AMAZING! i am dying. when my husband and i land ourselves in our new apartment, that will be craft project number one!

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  14. You have the best sense of humor. I love reading your blog!

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